Chalong, a subdistrict located in South Phuket, has a muddy shoreline which is more popular for yachting and as a boat lagoon. Its most stellar feature is the wide jetty built in 2001 replacing the old, wooden rundown pier. Though its coast is more suitable for boating and yachting activities, Chalong has a lot of tourist attractions on the mainland that draw millions of visitors to its shores. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Chalong!
1. Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong, also called Chalong Temple and Wat Chaiyathararam, is the most important temple among the 29 Buddhist temples found in Phuket. Though it is the largest and most visited among all the temples, you won’t see its name in the road signs. It is located in Chalong Sub district in Mueang Phuket.
Tourists and locals alike visit the temple to pay homage and revere its ancient beauty. It was built in the 19th-century by two respected monks, Luang Pho Cha and Luang Pho Chuang. Recently, a Chedi was constructed on the Wat Chalong grounds. It contains a bone splinter of Buddha. The interiors of the temple are decorated with painted images of Buddha’s life history and it includes a display of various golden statues. The temple has 3 stories which you can climb to the top and get a beautiful view of the entire scenery below.
Chaithararam Temple - Wat Chalong
Address: Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Website: Wat Chalong
2. Phuket Zoo
The Phuket Zoo is a display of all the exotic flora and fauna of Chalong. It is a wonderful place to visit especially if you are traveling with kids because it is an interactive zoo where you can touch or play with the animals. There are several types of species of birds, fish and land animals like monkeys, elephants and crocodiles. The zoo has a breeding program so every year new animals are acquired, propagated and exchanged with other zoos.
The tropical scenery makes the zoo very inviting for a day walking tour under the shade of giant trees while you cross little bridges that connect the sections of the entire zoo. There are also life-sized statues of dragons, animals and cartoon characters where you can take your mandatory picture taking. Entertainment comes in the form of various animal shows featured at certain times of the day and all thru the week. For refreshments, ice cream and cold drinks are sold in several parts of the zoo.
Address: 23/2 Soi Pa Lai, Tambon Chalong, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand
Website: Phuket Zoo
3. Phuket Bird Park
Phuket Bird Park is the only bird park that is privately owned on this island. It features hundreds of species of birds from all over the world. The beautiful garden has a natural waterfall and lush foliage that serves as the nesting ground of the birds. Visitors will enjoy roaming the forest like surroundings. They are entertained and educated by the amazing bird shows on their huge stage. There is also a souvenir shop inside the park where you can buy tokens like t-shirts, mugs, caps, magnets, postcards and other gift items to remind you of your visit to the bird park.
Phuket Bird Park
Address: 9, 32/9 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Rd, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Website: Phuket Bird Park
4. Dolphin Bay Phuket
The Nemo Dolphin Bay Phuket is not your ordinary dolphinarium. Visitors from all over the world come to this resort attraction not just to watch the amazing dolphin shows. They can also touch, have pictures and dive along with the dolphins. The resort also offers a unique feature called Dolphin Therapy. These are special classes they offer to children with developmental disorders. This special method of rehabilitation of the children’s medical and psychological disorders involves the active participation of the dolphins with the guidance of expert psychologists.
Dolphin Bay Phuket
Address: 33/50 ห มุ่ ที่, Soi Pa Lai 2, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Website: Dolphin Bay Phuket
5. Phuket Botanic Garden
The Phuket Botanic Garden is the only garden you will find in south Phuket and it is located nearby Wat Chalong Temple. It features a collection of various plant species gathered from South East Asia and all over the world. There are several tastefully designed landscaped gardens complete with miniature waterfalls and koi ponds. There is also a mini butterfly garden right beside the winter garden which is an air-conditioned enclosure containing exotic plants. It is easy to navigate around the gardens because there are numerous signs that will show you the way.
Phuket Botanic Garden
Address: 98/89 Moo 4, Chao Fah Tawan Tok Road, Tambon Chalong, Amphoe Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Website: Phuket Botanic Garden
6. Amazing Bukit Safari
The Amazing Bukit Safari is an eco-adventure tour right inside Phuket town. You will experience a 30 minute elephant ride while trekking into the natural forest. There are other animals featured in the property like monkeys and water buffalos. It also features a number of animal shows. There is the exciting snake show which features a variety of poisonous snakes. You can touch and take a picture with a Cobra! There is another show wherein the trained monkeys perform their tricks. There is a baby elephant show that features the animal playing a harmonica which is just one of his many tricks. Another feature of the safari is a cooking demonstration where you also get a taste of the local Thai cuisine.
Amazing Bukit Safari
Website: Amazing Bukit Safari
7. Big Buddha
The Big Buddha, also called Tian Tian Buddha by the locals, is one of the most respected and important monuments of Chalong. The massive bronze figure of Buddha Shakyamuni is found sitting on the top of Nakkerd Hills, which is situated between Kata and Chalong. It can be seen from far distances like Karon Beach and Phuket Town. You will have to climb a long stairway of 268 steps to reach the foot of the Buddha where you are blessed with a sweeping view of Chalong Bay, Karon, Kata and the entire Phuket town. The Buddha, which was erected in 1993, took 12 years to complete. Opposite the Buddha is the hidden Po Lin Monastery which gained popularity upon the erection of the image.
Tian Tian Buddha
Address: Yot Sane 1 Chaofa Road, Chalong, Phuket
Website: Tian Tian Buddha
8. Coral Island
Coral Island is among the most popular and beautiful islands, ideal for a getaway that you could access thru Chalong Bay. Thousands of tourists every year are drawn to its shores because of its multicolored coral reefs, two beaches with long stretches of pure white sand, pristine waters and a bounty of underwater fauna. To get to the island, you will have to ride a Long Tail boat or speedboat from Chalong Pier.
The island tends to get crowded due to the numerous water activities and awesome natural scenery it offers. You could swim, dive, snorkel, parasail, sea walk, ride the banana boat and much more. Book a reservation with one of the many hotels that are on the island. Usually the resort has their own beachfront where you can have some privacy to enjoy the waters.
Coral Island Club
Address: Banana Beach, Coral Island, Phuket, 83130, Thailand
Website: Coral Island Club
Coral Island Resort
Address: Coral Island, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket, Thailand
Website: Coral Island Resort
9. Radar Hill Viewpoint
This is the highest viewpoint that sits on the second highest peak of Phuket Island. The journey to the viewpoint is long and far, around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the nearest hotel in Phuket. If you are bringing your own vehicle, you have to gas up for the trip. You will find gas stations on Chao Fa West road and several interesting stops along the way.
You will pass Wat Silsupahram, the temple residence of the Luang Pu Supah, the oldest living monk who ever lived (he died at the age of 118 years old in September 1, 2013). Down the road is the military run weather station. It is forbidden to take pictures there. Keep going down the road and you will reach Villa Zolitude. The Radar Hill is 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from there. Once you reach the peak, you are rewarded with a splendid panoramic view of Chalong Bay, the neighboring islands, Patong and the Andaman Sea.
Radar Hill Viewpoint
Address: Patong, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Website: Radar Hill Viewpoint
10. Try their Chalong Bay Rum
Chalong Rum is one of the local products Chalong is proud of. This world-renowned, award winning rum is produced in the Chalong Rum Distillery. The rum is handcrafted using the century’s old art in the French distillation process using Thailand’s rich sugarcane and an old-style copper still that was imported from France.
The distillery offers a tour of the facilities, so you can see first-hand how this alcoholic beverage is crafted. You are given a refreshing mojito to enjoy while enjoying the tour. They also offer a cocktail workshop so you can learn how to make delicious concoctions with the use of Chalong Rum. You can take the recipes home with you. The distillery also features a bar and boutique where you can enjoy a wide range of their cocktails and alcoholic beverages along with their sumptuous homemade tapas.
Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
Address: 14/2 Moo 2, Palai soi 2, Tambon Chalong, Amphur Muang Phuket, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Website: Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
The coast of Chalong
Unlike other coastal towns of Phuket where there is an abundance of sandy beaches, Chalong compensates for the lack of them with its abundance of lush, natural landscapes. It boasts of the well-preserved forests waiting to be explored and a variety of animals that roam freely in this jungle paradise. Chalong is an exciting haven for nature lovers.
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